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Aerosmith - Done With Mirrors (1985)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by Magic, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Aerosmith ~ Done With Mirrors
    Released in 1985 by Geffen Records
    Rock / Hard Rock


    [​IMG]

    Personnel:

    • Steven Tyler - Lead Vocals, Percussion
    • Joe Perry - Guitar, Backing Vocals
    • Brad Whitford - Guitar
    • Tom Hamilton - Bass
    • Joey Kramer - Drums
    • Ted Templeman – Production


    :tl:

    1. "Let the Music Do the Talking" (Perry) 3:44
    2. "My Fist Your Face" 4:21
    3. "Shame on You" 3:22
    4. "The Reason a Dog" (Hamilton) 4:13
    5. "Shela" (Whitford) 4:25
    6. "Gypsy Boots" 4:16
    7. "She's on Fire" 3:47
    8. "The Hop" 3:45
    9. "Darkness" (Tyler) 3:43
    (Note: Darkness doesn’t appear on the vinyl album)

    The Album

    This album was intended as the big comeback for Aerosmith; with the return of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford to the band, the band members giving up their addictions, a new Producer, Ted Templeman (who produced Van Halen and Montrose), and a new record label. Even with all these positive changes, this album didn’t live up to the commercial “comeback” status. This CD does have some collector’s value, though, if you can find an original pressing of the CD, the cover, back, and inlays all have the images and wording flipped for viewing in a mirror (subsequent pressings reversed the images back to normal). The album title is a play on words, “Done With Mirrors”, which signifies the giving up of Cocaine addictions.

    Although, this album didn’t give the band the success that they would later receive with “Permanent Vacation”, this album is truer to the sound of earlier Aerosmith albums. Aerosmith put a lot of guts into this album, with the bluesy songs “She’s On Fire”, “Darkness”, and “The Reason a Dog”. The songs “Gypsy Boots” and “ The Hop” have a really strong groove. The opening song “ Let the Music Do the Talking”, which is a Perry song from his solo album, defines what this album was intended to mean to the band and it’s fans. Done with Mirrors has some very strong musical moments, and should not be overlooked by anyone who likes Aerosmith in the 70’s. What I find lacking in this album, is anything that delivers a punch, a punch you got with “Train Kept a Rollin” , “Dream On”, “Walk this Way”, or “Sweet Emotion”. This album also lacks the typical Aerosmith formula of a closing ballad. The album comes across to me as a bit lackluster and half finished, giving the impression the Bad Boys from Boston have not yet put all their past demons to rest.

    The Music

    ”Let the Music Do the Talking” ~ This is a song written by Joe Perry and originally recorded by the Joe Perry Project after his departure in 1979. Aerosmith did a few lyric changes and charged the song up a bit, and the end result was a powerful opener for the album. This song is infectious and shows off an Aerosmith that hasn’t been heard since “Rocks”. You can tell the toxic twins are glad to be back together again. (if you click the link, this is a live recording, and my favorite version of this song)

    ”My Fist Your Face” ~ It is really hard not to like a song with a title like this. This song has a great boogie beat and spiffy riff , but the lyrics are basically nonsensical, going from underage hookers to betty boop and the chorus is a tad belligerent, but still catchy.

    ”Shame on You” ~ This is a great song that is catchy & funky, with a groovy riff but lacks any real lyrical value. Who cares! Tyler seems to pull it off quite well.

    ”The Reason a Dog” ~ This song goes back to the 70’s sound. A decent song written by Tom Hamilton. A slow rocking song with a bluesy feel. “The Reason a dog has so many friends, he wags his tail instead of his tongue” is just a really cool way of saying how easy it is for women to catch guys with their many female talents. I have to love Aerosmith’s sexual lyricis 

    ”Shela” ~ This song is written by Brad Whitford. Another decent song that has been overlooked. It has a great rhythm with typical cock-rock lyrics. This song is also very 70’s sounding. I like this tune.

    ”Gypsy Boots” ~ This song starts off with a slow opener then blasts you with the droning “Gypsy, gypsy, gypsy”. The beat is fast with a hard hitting groove and the vocals are just as fast. The impression I get from this song is that the band is trying too hard and things just end up sounding a bit sloppy.

    ”She’s On Fire” ~ I like this song. It has some great slide guitar work. The bluesy feel of the song is extremely reminiscent of “Rocks”. Tyler has an awesome vocal display in this song.

    ”The Hop” ~ A great little ditty. Pure boogie. “a night out with the boys from aerosmith”………

    ”Darkness” ~ The closing to the CD version of this album. I like this song, too. This isn’t the typical Aerosmith closing, because this song isn’t a ballad. The song starts off slow and builds tempo mid song. This song is a fantastic closer to this album: melodic, hard rocking, with another clean vocal display.

    Overall, this album is a hidden gem. It doesn’t contain any sappy love ballads and the songs are somewhat predictable and consistent. What sets this album apart is the fact the band returned to its blues-rock roots that is so reminiscent of the 70’s. I find this album a raw, jamming delight, that has definitely been overlooked and underrated.


    My rating for listening pleasure 4/5.
     
  2. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

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    Re: Aerosmith ~ Done With Mirrors (1985)

    Oh yeah...this album grew for me over time and it's a real feel good. I still remember when our radio station here in Chicago would play both versions of Let The Music Do The Talking...Aerosmith and JPP :grinthumb
     
  3. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: Aerosmith ~ Done With Mirrors (1985)

    I've not actually heard this album ever but I was watching an older episode of "That Metal Show" today and Joe Perry said that he'd give this album a 2 out of 10 and that it was his least favorite Aerosmith release....

    Whether or not the album actually deserves a 2 from Joe this was still a good review Magic.
     
  4. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Aerosmith ~ Done With Mirrors (1985)

    Joe is his own worst critic. I dont think this is the worst album, by no means, but I can see where he would put down the album. When they made this album, they thought it was going to be a rip roaring succes, and it wasn't. Like I said, there was nothing on the album that gave you a "punch". The whole album was predictable and raw, almost of garage rock quality, but that is what I like about the album :)
     
  5. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: Aerosmith ~ Done With Mirrors (1985)

    Well I'll be sure to give the links some listens on your recommendation then, Magic. :D
     
  6. Gearjammer

    Gearjammer Devout Heathen

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    Re: Aerosmith ~ Done With Mirrors (1985)

    I remember this album very well. I grew up just outside of Boston, and this album, and the whole Aerosmith comeback got a huge push from the late, great WBCN. While I wouldn't call it the greatest Aerosmith album, I certainly think it is the best album of the post reunion erea. I prefer this album by miles to Pump, Get a Grip, etc.
     
  7. That 70s Guy

    That 70s Guy Fortunate Son Staff Member

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    Re: Aerosmith ~ Done With Mirrors (1985)

    Great rockin' album!! :grinthumb
     
  8. Vic2010

    Vic2010 Senior Member

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    Re: Aerosmith ~ Done With Mirrors (1985)

    Tough, rockin' album. I found a new copy a few years ago for a few bucks. I expected not to like it but I was pleasantly surprised. It really does have a 70s vibe for an album from 1985. Fave track: Shame On You.
     
  9. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Aerosmith ~ Done With Mirrors (1985)

    "Shame on You" has a great opening riff. I love the funky vibe of this song, too :)

    It is surprising how much this album is 70-ish Aerosmith, I love it when people come back and comment how much they like it.

    :oy:
     
  10. Lynch

    Lynch Rockin' Out

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    Re: Aerosmith ~ Done With Mirrors (1985)

    Haven't listened to this album in probably 20+ years. I didn't care for it when it came out and only played it a little bit.

    I see you gave it a 4/5? wow. I will have to give this thing a listen again.
     

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